Will stayed in his car for ten minutes when he arrived at Peter's house. He stared at the steering wheel, his mind going over everything that his choice would mean to him. But it wasn't just him, was it? It would change the lives of both Peter and Talia, and he had to decide whether or not it would really be worth the risk. He knew Peter thought that Will was going to shut him out because he wouldn't tell Talia the truth to make her grant him his divorce. Once he found out that Will had indeed chosen him and tried to tell her the truth, he would be happy. Talia thought that Will was going to work on keeping their marriage together and had left to put in some extra time at work and then head to the gym. She had no idea that he was about to embark on something that he had sworn he would never do. As long as she didn't know, it would be all right. But if she ever did find out...
He shook his head, not willing to think about what Talia's discovery would mean. If he was careful, it wouldn't be an issue. For now, though, he had to take the first step. He had driven to Peter's house. Now, he had to figure out the best way to explain what he wanted without making Peter feel as if he'd be some dirty little secret.
Glancing at the clock, Will was surprised that he'd been sitting there for that long. He knew then that he wouldn't be able to sort out anything until he had come face to face with Peter and heard for himself whether or not his friend would be willing to go along with what he wanted. He took a deep breath before getting out of the car, and wondered when his heart had started to beat so rapidly. He was sure he'd either pass out or run away before he could ring the doorbell. When neither of those things happened by the time he reached the front door, however, he took another deep breath and rang the bell.
Peter looked a little annoyed when he opened the door, but then Will noticed that he was on the phone. Will mouthed the word 'sorry' and made to retreat to his car when Peter grabbed him by the arm and gently pulled him inside.
"Uh huh, and I could get married and have five kids, but it's not happening," Peter said into the phone, gesturing for Will to take a seat in the living room, then pointing at the phone as he headed for his office.
Will could hear Peter talking, though he couldn't make out anything specific, and it didn't sound like he was happy with whoever was on the other end of the phone. He sometimes thought that Peter was asking for trouble by being his own boss, especially in a business like public relations. But, then again, Peter had never been afraid to take charge and do things his way. It was a trait that had drawn Will to him when they were both only eleven years old. Peter had always seemed so in control and indestructible, Will had been eager to follow him anywhere. And, now, it an odd way, that's exactly what Will was doing again.
"Sorry about that," Peter said when he returned to the living room, breaking through Will's thoughts. "I'm starting to think I should get rid of my entire staff and hire a bunch of monkeys."
That made Will giggle and forget how nervous he was supposed to be. "Hey, that means I'd qualify," he said.
"You sure would," Peter smiled, taking a seat next to Will. "You're hairy enough to be an ape."
"Apes are not monkeys, wise ass," Will snorted.
Peter laughed. "And only you would make that distinction to ruin my making fun of you."
"Hey, if you're going to try and get the best of me, you need to be better equipped, my friend." Will tapped Peter's head as he said it.
"I think I've just been called stupid." Peter blinked at Will. "You just called me stupid, didn't you?"
"No!" Will giggled and cupped Peter's face. "I would never call you stupid, I swear."
"You're a good liar," Peter said, his expression growing more serious as Will's touch lingered. "I know from first hand experience."
Will blushed and pulled his hand back. "Yeah, well..."
"Want to tell me why you're here?"
The nerves were back the instant the question was asked and Will felt his blush deepen. Instead of pushing it, Peter smiled and lowered his voice so he sounded more gentle and understanding.
"I thought I wouldn't see you again, you know," he murmured. "I was so afraid that you would stop wanting me because you couldn't tell Talia the truth about what you feel for me."
"I didn't get a chance to explain on the phone," Will said softly. "You hung up before I could tell you that I want to do whatever I can to be with you."
This time Peter looked chagrined as he took hold of Will's hand in both of his. "I'm sorry about hanging up. I guess I didn't want to hear you tell me that you were going to cut me off again."
There was a mournful tone to Peter's words that made Will realize just how much he'd hurt this beautiful man. He'd only had a shallow understanding of what his leaving had meant to Peter, but now, hearing him like this and seeing the obvious pain on his face drove the point home more than anything ever had before.
"I would never do that," Will said, covering Peter's hand with his so that they were now holding both of each other's hands. "I need to find a way to be with you, Pete," he whispered. "I can't leave you again."
Peter's eyes filled with such love at Will's words, it took Will's breath away. How could he have ever doubted that being with Peter was the right thing to do?
"But how can you be with me if you can't get a divorce?" Peter asked, holding Will's hand a little tighter.
"I could..." Will hesitated, hating the way it was going to sound. "Talia wouldn't have to know if I was seeing you."
Peter narrowed his eyes a little bit, staring at Will for a moment as if to assess whether or not he was pulling his leg. "You mean, have an affair?"
Will licked his lips and nodded. He was even more nervous than he could have imagined at approaching Peter with the idea.
"Will, I don't know," Peter said, looking more than a little unsure. "What if Talia found out? Everything you're afraid of happening would be even worse. I think you should just tell her the truth now and deal with the fallout before we decide to move things forward."
"I have told her," Will said quickly. "Or, tried to. I told her that I was gay and in love with you and wanted a divorce."
Peter's surprise couldn't be disguised. "You did? What did she say?"
"She laughed at me and thought I was lying to make her leave me."
"I see." Peter lowered his eyes to their still clasped hands. "So our only alternative is to sneak around like we're doing something wrong?"
"It looks that way."
Peter looked at Will and took in a slow breath. "I think we should talk to her together so she'll understand that you're not lying," he said softly. "And after she knows the truth, she'll file for divorce and then we can be together."
That hadn't been the reaction Will had been expecting. He might have understood if Peter had gotten angry by the suggestion of an affair, but he hadn't expected this reasonable solution.
"You don't want to be with me?" Will asked, not sure why he was deciding to push it. "You want to make us both wait for what we want?"
"Of course I want to be with you," Peter said quickly. "I just don't think we should be sneaking around. It'll look so much worse for you if we're caught. I'm thinking of you, Will, I swear."
"Then let me have this," Will said with sudden fervor.
"I... What do you mean? Let you have this?"
Will lifted Peter's hands to his cheek, rubbing them against the stubble there. "What I mean is... What I think I mean is let me do this, Pete. Let me have one part of my life that's really mine and that Talia knows nothing about. She's run me since the day we were married and I can't stand it anymore. If she won't give me a divorce when she knows that neither of us is happy, then she... I think she deserves it."
"God, Will, don't say that," Peter whispered. "That's not you. You can't deliberately hurt someone like that."
"Can't I?" Will looked into Peter's eyes, challenging him. "I can't maybe get a little of my own back and do something that no one expects?"
"So, what is this?" Peter asked, the challenge in his eyes now. "Are you going to be with me for a cheap thrill? Some twisted revenge against Talia for being a bitch? Because that's not what I want, Will. I want this to be real."
Peter's accusation stung, and Will let go of his hands. "I do, too," he said, his voice dull. "And this isn't for revenge."
"That's what you're making it sound like," Peter pressed. "I hate to break it to you, Will, but you knew Talia was a bitch when you married her. You made your bed."
"Fine. That's a no, then?" Will stood up and turned to leave. He never should have come here.
"Will, don't leave." Peter stood up. "Come on, we can figure something out. Please...stay."
Will stopped but didn't turn to face Peter. He felt so ashamed of himself for thinking that he could use his friend that way. Peter was right. Not only that, but he deserved better from someone he'd loved for so long.
Peter walked slowly toward him and placed his hands on Will's shoulders. The touch made Will close his eyes and lean back. How could it be wrong to be with this man no matter the circumstances? He hated that Peter was right about things being worse for him if he was found out. All he wanted was for the rest of the world to go away and leave the two of them alone.
"Listen to me," Peter whispered into Will's ear. "I love you, William Tobias Porter. That means that I want to be with you more than anything in this world, but only if you're not tied to anyone who could hurt you for being with me." He smiled. "That includes being married to the wicked witch of Hartford."
The voice in his ear made him shiver, and Will turned around to face him. "I love you," he whispered, putting his arms around him. "I love you for looking out for me even if it means having to wait a little longer to be with me."
"I waited twelve years to have you back in my life," Peter said, leaning in to touch his forehead to Will's. "I can wait for this."
Will sighed softly and touched his mouth to Peter's in a tender kiss. "Okay," he murmured.
"Okay," Peter echoed, brushing his lips over Will's with a sigh that matched the other man's.
"I should go, shouldn't I?"
Peter smiled and nodded but made no attempt to let Will go. "You really should."
"Yeah." Will also was making no move to go, so content to simply stand there with Peter, holding him and pretending as if there was no other life for him to get back to.
"This doesn't seem to be working," Peter said with a soft chuckle.
"I noticed that." Will gave Peter another kiss, this time a little more intense. It was enough to make Peter groan deep in his throat.
"Damn it, Will," Peter whispered, "you're not making it easy to say goodbye."
Will smiled. "I don't say goodbye, remember?"
"Yeah, I know," Peter said, pulling Will closer and kissing his forehead. "So, go. Go before I do something you'll regret."
"I couldn't regret anything you do," Will whispered, holding tighter to Peter. He really didn't want to go. Not yet. "But can I stay a little longer?" he asked softly. "If I promise nothing will happen? Just so I can spend more time with you?"
Peter sighed. He had some work to get done and he wasn't sure just how long he could be around Will like this without wanting to take things further. But, despite his better judgment, he nodded and gave Will one last kiss.
"Stay as long as you like," Peter said with a small smile. "Let me just get a few things signed and faxed to the office and I'm all yours."
Will let out a relieved breath and kissed Peter's cheek. "Thank you. I promise I'll be good." He really was going to do his best to not get into any kind of compromising position with Peter. He wanted to respect his friend's wishes. Plus, he could take this time to figure out the best way for them to confront Talia with the truth and still escape with their balls intact.
"I have no doubt you'll be very, very good," Peter said with a teasing smile.
"That's not making it easy to think good thoughts, you know." Will tried to scowl at him, but he was too delighted by the comment to do anything but beam at him.
"Then think bad thoughts while I go finish up my work," Peter said softly. "And you can whip us up something to eat, if you like."
"You're just using me for my cooking skills," Will said, still grinning like mad.
"I'll have you know that I learned to cook in the years I didn't have you around to feed me."
"I never used to feed you," Will laughed. "Mom would. I started cooking regularly in college and you didn't go to school with me."
"I miss hanging out with you and your mom, you know," Peter said, his face getting a little more serious now. "I kept in touch with Inez, but it wasn't the same."
"Mom's always loved you."
Peter smiled. "The feeling's mutual."
Will gave Peter one more kiss, then sighed. "Go finish up your work and I'll make us a couple of salads and sandwiches. Then we can talk."
Peter looked reluctant to put off the talk, but he knew Will was right. "Okay. I'll be fast."
Will took a deep breath when Peter let go of him, and as he headed into the kitchen to make them lunch, he couldn't help thinking of how right it felt to be here with him. How had he spent so many years being blind and living in denial? It was as if he'd been walking around in a fog for twelve years and finally he'd had his eyes opened to see what he really needed and had been missing this entire time.
Opening Peter's fridge revealed all the fixings he needed. Will had always known Peter to be a careful eater, even as a kid, so he wasn't really surprised that those habits had followed him into adulthood. Of course, the irony was never lost on Will that while Peter would eat as healthy as he could, he would still drink like a sailor and do the occasional illicit substance. He made a note to himself to ask Peter if he had any weed in the house.
It didn't take Will very long to make them both avocado salad and sprout sandwiches on whole grain bread and salads with fresh greens and a homemade vinaigrette. He set up the table in the kitchen and poured them both some ice tea, then sat down and waited for Peter to be finished. After half an hour, he started to tap his fingertips on the tabletop and thought about going to see if Peter could tell him how much longer it would be.
"I am so sorry that took so long," Peter said, rushing in at that moment. "I forgot some things on the contract and had to call in with some changes, and then I had to get on the phone and babysit them while they got everything done."
"Why didn't you just go in?" Will asked. "I could have waited."
"I didn't want to go in," Peter said, smiling as he sat down opposite Will. "I had a lunch date waiting for me."
Will giggled at the way Peter waggled his eyebrows as he said it, and he swore it made him fall in love with him a little more.
"I wasn't sure what you wanted, so I let your fridge lead the way," Will said, picking up his sandwich and taking a bite.
"I'm glad you did. It looks great." Peter took a big bite and moaned exaggeratedly as he chewed. "Oh my god, that's better than sex."
"Hey! No sex talk," Will scolded him, though he couldn't help grinning. "And I really wonder about just how bad your sex life has been lately." The moment he said it, he wished he could take it back. It was thoughtless and he didn't need to see the look on Peter's face to know that he had said the wrong thing. "Pete..."
"Don't worry about it," Peter said, putting down his sandwich and sitting back in his chair. "I haven't given you any reason to think that it would bother me to think about Kory."
"Pete, I should have thought before I opened my mouth, okay?" Will reached for Peter's hand. "I'm sorry."
"I'm the one who should be sorry," Peter whispered. "It's only been two weeks since the funeral, Will. What kind of man can bury his lover of seven years and then turn around and want to be with someone else right away?"
"I don't know what kind of man could do that," Will said, "and I don't care. You said yourself that you were with Kory because you couldn't be with me."
"So that should let me negate the life I made with him?"
Will hated seeing his friend beating himself up like this. He got up from his seat and moved to hug him, wrapping his arms around his shoulders and just holding on because he couldn't think of anything else to do.
"I shouldn't have told you how I felt," Peter whispered as Will held onto him. "I should have let you live your life and just kept going without you."
"No, I wouldn't have wanted that," Will said, kissing Peter's hair. "You freed me, Pete. I hate that the circumstances had to be the way they are, but you have saved my life, I swear."
Peter was silent for a few moments, then softly said. "You always were a drama queen."
Will was surprised by the words and laughed when they registered. "Oh my god," he said, punching Peter in the arm and letting him go. "Just eat your lunch."
They finished off their food, talking about everything but their relationship and the next step they wanted to take together. After the lunch dishes were washed, Peter told Will to take a seat on the sofa and that he would be right back.
Will watched curiously as Peter disappeared down the hallway that led to his bedroom, a part of him yearning to follow and never leave. But, instead, he did as he was told and sat down on the couch.
When Peter returned, he was holding up a plastic bag and grinning wickedly.
"Oh my god, I was going to ask you if you had any," Will laughed. "Jesus, man, get over here."
"I wasn't sure if you still liked to party," Peter said, setting everything down on the coffee table. "Talia doesn't seem like a pot smoker."
"She used to smoke in college," Will said, watching Peter put a bud in a small glass pipe. "But once we moved to the suburbs and she started to think of herself as a hotshot banker's wife, she pretty much became a killjoy."
"Too bad," Peter said. "I bet she'd be really entertaining high."
Will raised an eyebrow at that and took the pipe and lighter when they were offered. "Are you serious?" he asked, taking a hit.
Peter shook his head and took the pipe from Will. "No, just wanted to see what you'd say." He grinned and took a hit of his own, putting the pipe back on the table and setting the lighter next to it to let Will know he should just help himself.
Will decided that he didn't want to talk about Talia anymore and only wanted to get good and high with his best friend. In fact, he would be fine with not talking about anything at all and just enjoying the quiet and the mellow buzz of the weed.
Peter didn't seem to mind that Will wanted to be quiet, and he leaned back on the couch with a pleasant smile on his face. Will knew that Peter's job took a lot out of him and he didn't get to relax this way all the time. As he turned his head to watch him just sitting there, looking gorgeous and completely unaware of that fact, Will couldn't help thinking that he would gladly risk everything he had for him. He could tell him that. The two of them could sit there talking forever about how much they wanted to be with one another, but Will knew that the only thing that would prove it to him was making Talia believe.
"Can I use your phone?" Will asked softly. He had his cell phone with him, but he didn't want her to ignore the call if she knew it was him. Peter's number would come up as private and her curiosity would get the better of her.
"Sure," Peter said, pointing to the phone on the end table on Will's side of the couch.
"Thanks," Will said as he reached for it and started to dial.
"Who're you calling?" Peter asked lazily.
"Talia. I'm going to tell her I'm here and we're going to tell her about us."
"Bullshit." Peter grabbed the phone out of Will's hand and turned it off. "You do not tell your wife that you're leaving her for another man over the phone, Will. What the hell is wrong with you?"
In that instant, Will knew that he was a lot higher than he thought. Peter was a regular smoker and was still in control of himself, but the pot was hitting Will hard and he wasn't thinking clearly.
"Fuck, you're right," he said softly. "What was I thinking?"
"Probably the same thing you were thinking when you made me that offer earlier."
"You should have taken me up on it," Will whispered, his filters gone, "because I want you so much right now."
Peter blinked at Will a few times and shook his head. "Will, we can't. You promised."
"I know what I said," Will murmured, scooting closer to Peter on the sofa.
Will moved until he had Peter pressed against the arm of the couch. "Tell me you don't want this to happen," he said softly, leaning over the other man.
"I..." Peter couldn't stop looking into Will's eyes, and that's when Will could see his resolve slipping.
"She won't find out," Will whispered, filled with a confidence he didn't think he possessed as he moved a hand down to pop the button on Peter's jeans. "If we don't tell her, we can have what we want without having to wait."
Peter gasped softly when he felt Will's hand slip inside his jeans and the heat of it wrapped around him. "Damn it, Will," he said, voice strained.
"C'mon, Pete," Will smiled. "You could stop me if you really wanted to."
"I-I can?" Peter swallowed hard and closed his eyes. "I'm not so sure..."
Will pressed his lips to Peter's ear and whispered, "I want to suck you. I want you to show me how you like your cock sucked." He brushed his thumb over the head and grinned at the sound Peter made.
"Christ...wh-what happened to that shy guy from last night?" Peter asked with a breathless chuckle.
"Get a little weed in him and he's anybody's," Will replied, echoing the soft laughter. It was an excuse for him to let go and convince Peter to give him what he wanted. It was also the moment he realized just how easily he could control his best friend. "I want you, Pete. Please... Don't you want this?"
After a beat, Peter pulled him down for a kiss, leaving no doubt as to exactly what it was he wanted. When the kiss broke and Will stared into Peter's eyes, he wondered if he looked as flushed and breathless as Pete did.
"Want me to stop?" Will asked, his voice hoarse, his hand stroking Peter now.
"You'd better fucking not," Peter breathed, reaching for Will's zipper.